Urges Governor to Sign the Bill into Law

(June 20, 2017 – Albany, NY) The President of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), Ken Pienkowski, issued the following statement on the passage of legislation (S. 1411B / A. 0711B) that provides presumptive cancer coverage for New York State’s volunteer firefighters:

“Today is a great day for the 110,000 men and women of the Volunteer Fire Service who place themselves in harm’s way to protect their fellow New Yorkers. The Assembly and the State Senate have passed legislation that grants presumptive cancer coverage to volunteers, something that is sorely needed as rates of firefighter cancer continue to rise. FASNY is grateful to sponsors State Senator Joseph Griffo, Assemblymember Aileen Gunther, and Assemblymember Anthony Brindisi for shepherding this bill through the legislative process. We also would like to thank the leadership of the legislature for their critical support, including State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. We are also extremely grateful to Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, who has long championed this issue and has been a strong advocate for the volunteer fire service. We now call upon Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign this bill into law without delay, and ensure that New York’s volunteer firefighters have the protections that 21 st century firefighting requires.”

We now need to continue to urge Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign this legislation into law. We are asking all members of the volunteer fire service to call or email the Governor and ask him to sign Senate Bill 1411B/Assembly Bill 711B.

If we have your email address, also be watching for notifications from our Engage alert system in the coming weeks as we continue to let the Governor know how important this legislation is to all volunteer firefighters.

We need to beat the drum loudly, strongly and consistently. Your help is absolutely needed. So, please take time and call (518) 474-8390 or write to tell Governor Cuomo to sign Senate Bill 1411B/Assembly Bill 711B.

The bill was recently amended, and now includes:

  • A lump sum of $25,000 for any qualifying volunteer firefighter that contracts melanoma, as well as cancers of the digestive, hematological, lymphatic, urinary, prostate, neurological, breast, and reproductive systems.
  • Thirty-six months of disability benefits (at $1,500 per month) in the event the volunteer firefighter is unable to work due to their illness.
  • A $50,000 death benefit for a volunteer firefighter’s family in the event should they succumb to cancer.

The bill was carefully negotiated between state fire service organizations (including FASNY) and Albany legislators to ensure that all voices were heard and an equitable solution reached.